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Glutamine and Curcumin for Good Gut Health
Submitted by Integrative Therapeutics

Of the 20 amino acids, glutamine is the most abundant in the human body—and among the most important. Stored primarily in the muscles and the lungs, glutamine provides fuel for rapidly dividing enterocytes (the cells that line the intestine). The problem is, many people don't get enough glutamine to support a healthy gut. Considered a conditionally essential amino acid because it is produced by the body and also obtained from foods like meat, dairy, spinach, and cabbage, glutamine levels can be reduced as a result of an injury, infection, surgery, or prolonged stress. However, oral glutamine supplementation may promote healthy intestinal permeability and immune function, supports healthy tissue repair, and has been found to enhance intestinal barrier function in both adults and children.

Clinical Studies Support Glutamine
Glutamine supplementation has been shown to optimize intestinal and digestive health in a variety of populations. In a trial of 28 Crohn's patients, it was found that those taking 0.5 g/kg ideal body weight daily for two months had reduced permeability as indicated by a test called lactulose mannitol excretion ratio. Another study of premature infants documented beneficial effects on intestinal integrity after receiving 0.3 g/kg of oral glutamine per day during their first 30 days of life. Other researchers also found that glutamine supplementation supported healthy intestinal barrier function in a group of patients undergoing chemotherapy compared to placebo.

Adding Curcumin to the Equation
Recent studies suggest that curcumin, the active compound in the curry spice turmeric, may also support a healthy intestinal barrier function. This is due to curcumin's antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to help maintain healthy inflammatory pathways and support the health of intestinal cells, particularly in the colon. A recent study review noted that curcumin significantly improves survival and colonic cell health, dampens local inflammatory cell production, and reduces mucosal neutrophil infiltration. Yet curcumin's poor bioavailability has limited its usefulness. However, a new water-dispersible curcumin (Theracurmin™) has been developed which, according to researchers, provides 27 times more bioavailability than standard curcumin. Adding this unique form of curcumin to glutamine supplementation may support intestinal health and digestion more effectively than either nutrient on its own.

Theracurmin HP is a triple-strength formula, containing the same amount of curcuminoids as original Theracurmin, but in smaller capsules, and at just two capsules per day.

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Sevastiadou S, et al. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011;24(10):1294-300.

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